It’s easy to start and is pretty convenient – but diving in headfirst without knowing the ins and outs may do more harm than good. So if you are itching to play the lottery, take a breather, relax and read on. This article will go in-depth and examine how online lotteries work. But in order to find out the “how,” it is important to first discuss the “what.”
What is Online Lottery?
Lotteries, unlike other forms of gambling (such as casino games), are quite different in that they are government-run and not operated by private businesses. On the other hand, online lotteries are privately owned websites that act as portals of sorts to numerous traditional (and, yes, government-run) lotteries, interestingly enough.
In other words, no online lottery site actually runs its own MegaMillions or PowerBall games. Instead, these are websites that simply allow you to bet on official lotteries from the comfort of your own home. No need to go out and buy tickets – the chance to win millions is literally just a few clicks away.
If this sounds like a good fit for you, read on to learn more about the inner workings of online lotteries.
The Types of Lottery Sites
There are two types that you should be aware of: sites that classify as lottery agents, and others that don’t. The former are sites that send out agents who purchase the actual lottery ticket for you, which they can and send the resulting pictures to you. They also keep the original ticket under lock and key for your added peace of mind. The latter, meanwhile, just lets you bet on the outcome of official lotteries – meaning, you don’t actually have an official entry. Admittedly, this carries certain risks, but some lottery sites place certain measures ensuring winners get their prize money.
How to Play Lottery Online?
Playing the online lottery is quite easy. Just head over to a reputable online lottery, like WinTrillions, for instance, and sign up. Once you are logged in, pick your lottery game of choice. Then, you need to pick your numbers – either manually or automatically – and choose the number of draws you wish to participate in. You can also subscribe so you won’t miss a single draw. After doing so, all you need to do now is to purchase your entry and wait for the results – it’s that easy! Plus, you can also utilize some sites’ email notification features so you won’t have to keep checking their websites every now and again for the results. Easy. Convenient.
Know Your Laws
While just about anyone can play online lottery and the various international games they offer, you still have to check with your local gambling laws to see if playing lotto online is prohibited or not. Some countries specifically prohibit such, while in some, there are certain states that are more tax. Before diving in, make sure that you are legally in the right so you won’t face hurdles down the road.
The Benefits of Online Lotteries
What makes online lottery more appealing than traditional ones, aside from being able to play in your own home? How about the fact that you can play a wide variety of international games?
That’s right, online lotteries actually allow you to play games that are not found on your home turf. The best part is, there is no limit to how many games you can participate in, so your chances of winning grow the more lotteries you participate in.
The More The Merrier
Online lotteries also offer you the chance to play syndicates – games that are designed for group play. These basically allow you, along with many other players, to pool your resources (in this case, tickets) to raise your chances of winning a certain lottery. Each player can purchase multiple shares, which is certainly a good idea since prices for tickets are usually reduced here.
Beyond that, some online lotteries also offer millionaire raffles and virtual scratch cards. The former is just like any other raffle – buy your ticket and wait for the results. The latter, meanwhile, works like physical scratch cards, only more interactive and usually sporting whimsical themes.
Easy Payments and Withdrawal
Payment options usually abound when it comes to online lotteries. Most accept all major credit cards and bank transfers, while some, like The Lotter, offer other options like Neteller, Skrill, WebMoney, Caixa, and more. When you win, withdrawing your money is as easy as pie – most usually deposit your winnings directly to your account or via check. That is if your winnings are less than a specified amount. Winning large jackpots, on the other hand, is another matter entirely (one which will be discussed later on).
Some online lotteries also provide apps so you can keep up with the latest results and jackpots even when you are on the go. Others don’t go as far as to provide a dedicated app for your mobile device but offer a mobile-responsive site instead – which works just as well. Either way, being able to play anywhere and on the go is certainly a huge step up compared to traditional lotteries.
The Drawbacks of Online Lotteries
In an industry where paying more means a step closer to the jackpot, there will always be malicious entities that will take advantage of others’ desires to win big. Yes, there are online lottery scams out there that will sap you of your hard-earned cash. These are usually designed to look like normal lottery sites but are designed to get your credit card information.
Of course, there are also tons of legitimate online lottery sites – and many have won thousands, if not millions, of dollars from them. The fact remains that you have to be careful when it comes to your personal information online because there will always be undesirables lurking in the shadows of the world wide web.
Because you are simply betting on the outcome of an official lottery, and not actually entering the game, you aren’t really in any position to win the actual prize. Instead, whatever website you played the lottery game on will be the one responsible for awarding prizes. While there a lot of non-lottery agent websites out there with impressive payout records, it’s not that farfetched to say that there will be some that will disappoint.
Prices & Commissions
Online lotteries make money in two ways, the first of which is tacking on extra fees to the ticket prices. As you can imagine, this drives ticket prices up by a bit. It’s a small price to pay for extra convenience, but some may disagree.
The second way is by taking a small portion of your winnings. So every time that you win, a small percentage goes to the lottery site. Not all lottery sites take commissions though, so it is best to do your homework.
Another thing that some may not like is the fact that you may have to travel as far as another country (or continent!) if you win the jackpot. Plus, you will be subjected to the relevant tax laws should you win, so don’t expect to take home 100% of your prize money.
Is It For You?
So now that you know more about how online lotteries work, the question is: Is it for you? If you are looking for a way to play numerous lotteries from around the world, then, by all means, go for it. If, on the other hand, you are in a country that prohibits online gambling – lotteries included – or if you are not comfortable with some of the drawbacks, then maybe you need to take a step back and find alternative ways of making more money online.